Passengers UltraHD Blu-ray Review


TitlePassengers UltraHD Blu-ray
AudioDolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 Core)
Negative FormatsALEXA 65
Digital Intermediate4K
Peak Brightness4000 nits
MPAA RatingPG-13
Length116 Minutes
DirectorMorten Tyldum
StarsJennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt
Review DateMarch 14, 2017

Summary: Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star in a high-stakes adventure about two passengers, Aurora and Jim, onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As they try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they discover that the ship itself is in grave danger. With the lives of 5,000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all.

Movie Review: Without giving away what happens during the film, Passengers tries to combine a pair of genres together into a single film. There is the moral dilemma of being stuck on a ship where everyone else is asleep and you’ll die before you likely reach your destination and that is combined with an action/disaster aspect in that something is going wrong with the ship and you are the one that has to fix it.

The main problem with Passengers is in trying to combine the two of these together. It gives them both fairly equal weight, but it feels like concentrating on one or the other would have led to a better overall film. There is plenty of territory to mine with the first idea, in all the psychological effects that would go with that fate. It spends the first half of the film really digging into those, but unfortunately uses the action sequences to really resolve them without going into them in more details.

If it was positioned as more of a direct action film, the film would have to change a bit but it might be more successful by doing that. It is a good concept, as the trailers showed, but it feels like the ending is rushed and it doesn’t successfully resolve the film as well as I would have liked.

The actors do a good job during the film. As they’re set inside a spaceship where everyone else is in hibernation, the leads have to carry the entire thing almost by themselves and they prove very capable of doing so. Passengers winds up as a decent film and one that kept me entertained the whole time, just one where I wouldn’t have minded it being a bit longer to flesh out some of the ideas even more.

Technical Review: Shot on the Alexa 65 camera with a 4K digital intermediate, Passengers looks fantastic on UltraHD Blu-ray. Set entirely inside a spaceship, there are not panoramic vistas to show off the detail, but the faces of the characters are detailed and clear. Individual strands of hair stand apart and the fine textures of clothing are easy to see. Colors are rich and true, and the uses of HDR for outer space and other effects make the image pop off the screen when needed. Passengers represents a fantastic looking UltraHD Blu-ray.

The audio is not left behind. Despite being almost entirely on a spaceship, the Atmos channels are used extensively. From taking an elevator to using the on-board gym, the height channels are used to their maximum effect at all times. Voices and dialog were never short of crystal clear, and when something starts to go wrong on the ship all of the channels are used to put you right into the center of the action. For a drama that is very character driven for most of the time, the soundtrack does a wonderful job of pulling you into the film.

Special Features: Deleted scenes, special effects featurette, three other featurettes, included 3D disc.

Review System: Vizio P65-C1 display, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.

Review Summary

TitlePassengers UltraHD Blu-ray
ReviewerChris Heinonen
ProsDecent film, wonderful native 4K transfer and great use of Dolby Atmos on the soundtrack.
ConsWish the film was longer to further flesh out some of the ideas in the first half of the film.
SummaryPassengers is a good film, but one that could have been even better if they let it run for longer. The UltraHD Blu-ray disc offers a wonderful presentation of the film for home.
Video5 / 5
Audio4.5 / 5
Movie3.5 / 5